Bachelor Blowup: Zach's 'No Sex' Fantasy Suite Plan Explodes with Betrayal, Broken Trust

There is no right way to be “The Bachelor,” but there are plenty of wrong ways. ABC has built a whole franchise on showing the wrong ways to go about it, and Zach Shallcross added to that volume tonight!

The “boring Bachelor” certainly spiced things up for Fantasy Suites with an edict that even host Jesse Palmer had his doubts about. Right from the jump, Zach told Jesse that his goal for “Sex Week” was “no sex.”

“You really gonna be able to pull this off?” Jesse grilled him, “Because you are going to be tempted.”

Ain’t that the truth. All three of Zach’s remaining women are stunning, and he’s made it clear he’s very physically attracted to all three of them. And he certainly loves making out with them and kissing them all the time. Now, lock the doors and take away the cameras!

On top of that, while it’s easy to understand his thought process and that it was coming from a place of respect for the women — as well as some trauma from his own disastrous Fantasy Suites experience with Rachel Recchia last season — it’s also not necessarily a decision he should have made arbitrarily on his own.

The bottom line is that everyone is different with their feelings of intimacy. With an engagement around the corner, it’s a lot to consider. There’s also, as he said, an expectation that Fantasy Suites gives that intimacy. That means the women carry that expectation.

It may be more than just libido for them, too. It may be that understanding your partner’s intimacy can be just as important for some people as those deeper conversations before an engagement. A lot of people aren’t at all comfortable with the idea of getting engaged or married having never had sex with their partner. That should be respected, too.

Zach laid this “parameter” out to the women one by one without the opportunity for a conversation from them. Perhaps, had he allowed a little more flexibility and understood that not all relationships are one size fits all, he could have saved himself a lot of heartache and trouble. And not just in the Fantasy Suites themselves, but in the aftermath!

First up to get the jarring news was Ariel, who fully expected to get intimate with Zach. She believes that it’s an important step in any relationship and she was looking forward to taking that next step with him. This is what we were talking about with him taking that decision away from the women without the courtesy of a conversation.

His determination to be respectful is decidedly disrespectful.

Before he dropped the bombshell all over her lap, though, they did enjoy a fun evening in a Thai market in Thailand, trying all the local delicacies. We also appreciated that ABC didn’t make it a gross-out thing, considering some of the foods are definitely outside of most American’s comfort zones.

Instead, they loaded up on bugs and tried them and realized they actually quite enjoyed them. The pair then dove deeper into the local cuisine and had a very nice time together. All was going well, until Zach laid it out.

Ariel’s face spoke volumes as Zach explained his “no sex” stratagem, and she countered by saying that she doesn’t like to go into a date with a plan or an edict like that. Nevertheless, she did go along with it.

Both agreed that it was still a wonderful night and tremendous progress on their relationship. It seemed like perhaps Project: No Sex was going to be a success.

Even before they had their date, Gabi was in her head. Being the second Fantasy Suite didn’t help, as she ultimately revealed to Zach. Before he’d even dropped his “no sex” bombshell, Gabi nearly walked off the show.

She shared that she was struggling with feeling second because as it turns out, she was cheated on in a previous relationship and chose to turn a blind eye to it because she’d yet to realize her worth. It’s easy to see why she was in her head about this week, then, and struggling throughout this journey with the other women present.

Zach assured her that the order of the dates wasn’t significant in any way, and they were able to navigate that difficult emotional break from her and salvage their private island date. It really did look stunning!

Gabi was feeling super confident that both she and Zach were excited about the Fantasy Suites, so he quickly laid that turd sandwich in her lap of telling her about his “no sex” plan. Her face was even more placid than Ariel’s, so that’s two for two on this plan being received about as well as a kick in the teeth.

Gabi’s pushback was that it was unexpected to her to even consider the idea of getting engaged to someone she’d never had sex with. She also never completely took it off the table, despite his assertions.

As soon as the entered the Suite, she quipped, “This is a big bed. Lots of room for activities.” In a confessional, she teased. “Zach says he’s not having sex, but I don’t know. Maybe he will.”

His will certainly was tested, and found lacking. Whether it was his lack of will or her strength of will, they did get intimate, which tore Zach all up. He broke down to Jesse, who tried to reason with him that it is important for some people and it’s not the end of the world.

Nevertheless, Zach spiraled so hard in his head, he decided that the only right thing to do was to tell all of the women what had happened between him and Gabi. He had to be honest because that’s what you do in a relationship. Once again, he was being respectful by being extremely disrespectful.

Before his date with Kaity, he dropped by to visit Gabi to drop this new turd sandwich on her, which hit her like a slap in the face. Suddenly, this intimate experience they’d shared was going to be shared with two other women? Again, Zach wasn’t giving the women any say or agency in these decisions he was making.

Understandably, it was a gut punch to Gabi that he was just deciding this about something they had shared. It’s such a complicated issue because this is such a crazy show and most people don’t date this way. But how many people want to know about intimacy with another woman their guy is dating?

Let’s find out!

Zach immediately put his newfound desire for honesty about intimacy to the test by almost immediately ruining his whole date with Kaity. They enjoyed a glass bottom boat ride and then he told her both about his “no sex” approach to the week, and how he’d blown it.

Remember that whole thing about Zach approaching these women with a one-size-fits-all mentality? They are not the same person. If he truly respected their individuality, he’d understand they are different people with different wants, needs, and understandings.

From the beginning, Kaity has had a very healthy understanding of this show and how it works and what she signed up for. It’s actually been quite refreshing just how much she gets it. Yeah, he’s dating other women, he’s gonna make out with them, having intimate moments, it’s part of it.

What she didn’t need, though, was to have him slap her across the face with this fact during her time with him. It’s Fantasy Suites. She knows how the show works. She’s the third date. She could probably have assumed he’d slept with both of the other women by this point, but she was compartmentalizing that.

Not every woman who does this show can do that or has done that, but we could have told Zach weeks ago that Kaity gets it and she was okay with him exploring this entire process the way it was designed.

Again, this is where things also get extremely complicated. Zach was coming from a place of wanting to do the right thing and be completely truthful and honest. He didn’t want to go into an engagement with a secret, say like proposing to Kaity and her not know he’d slept with Gabi.

So was it wrong of him to tell her? It’s so hard to tell. In the moment, it was a disaster, but maybe that’s just the way it is. It’s like ripping off a bandage. But now, he’s got Gabi feeling betrayed that he’s telling their intimate secret, and he’s unwittingly weaponized it against Kaity.

It also made him two for two in nearly having women walk away from him and this journey. It’s both a testament to how hard the show is emotionally, and just how much Zach has been botching this week with his well-intentioned, but poorly-conceived (and terribly executed) “no sex” policy.

Kaity did return for the evening portion, though she admitted she almost didn’t. Zach was able to explain that part of why he told her was that he cannot keep a secret or tell a lie; it’s not wired in his DNA. He said he used to tattle on himself growing up, so some of this is just his ingrained “Catholic guilt,” as he explained it. We can attest, this is a very real thing and it is powerful!

With a better understanding of his good intentions behind his unnecessary and hurtfully aggressive honesty, Kaity was able to move past it and reconnect with the relationship they’ve been building for two months. They even advanced to the Fantasy Suite.

There, as it turns out, the “no sex” policy was in full effect, but we have a feeling this was more Kaity’s doing at this time as he’d left her feeling hurt and distant from him with his declaration. Did we mention Gabi was feeling betrayed? It’s all going so swell!

There are no easy choices at this point, but there was one dangling thing at the end of this episode that left us feeling a little unsettled. First, we weren’t sure Gabi was even going to stick around through the entire Rose Ceremony.

Your girl was still not looking at all happy, still feeling completely betrayed by Zach, and probably feeling all kinds of self-conscious up there, knowing what the other women probably knew about her at this point.

What she didn’t know is that Zach never did circle back and tell Ariel — at least so far as we know. After how poorly it went with Kaity, it’s understandable. But it’s also a somewhat different situation. After all, he and Ariel did not have sex because of his “parameter,” and then he immediately went and had sex with the next girl.

Ariel had made it clear that intimacy is an important aspect of building a relationship, and he denied her that opportunity. Then, he wasn’t even equal in that because he didn’t deny Gabi that chance, and we still say he’d have given it up for Kaity in a heartbeat. As rough as this week was, we still think she’s the likely winner of this.

She took one step closer, too, as it was Ariel who came up short. This after Gabi said in a confessional that she wasn’t even sure if she would accept Zach’s Rose. Ultimately, she did, but her face was still saying all kinds of things, and most of them not great.

Even after Zach walked Ariel out and came back for the toast, Gabi was not feeling it. She also noted that he only had eyes for Kaity while talking about meeting his family next week (we noticed it, too, girl!). Here she is feeling completely exposed and betrayed and he doesn’t even have time to give her his eyes?

It didn’t help that Kaity decided to share with Gabi that she knew Gabi was the only one Zach had slept with. Understandably, Gabi said she felt like she had a scarlet “A” on her chest. Why exactly did Kaity even tell her that? We know she was feeling weird about it, too, but there was no net positive in Kaity’s words for either of them, that we could see.

While that was going down, Ariel was saying nothing but kind and thoughtful things about Zach … all the while not knowing the extent of his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. He looked a little torn in the moment.

Would it have been rubbing salt in the wound to tell her at this point? Absolutely. Should he have pulled her aside from before this moment (or gone to her room) for a tough conversation? Possibly. Would it be infinitely worse to learn only when watching the episode back what had happened with the “no sex” strategy? Oh, definitely! But that’s what “After the FInal Rose” is for, right?

So, Gabi is still frustrated and feeling betrayed and looks ready to walk. Kaity is still hanging in there, but it’s clear she’s still a bit rocked by Zach’s decision to be a little too hones. It does, however, make us even more confident that it will be Kaity in the end, if anyone. The question we have left is if Gabi will leave on her own.

“I can’t wait to have the Fantasy Suite moment. I’m very, very eager for that.” –Ariel”What’s most important to me, and to express to each of the women, is no sex. None. No sex of any kind for Fantasy Suites.” –Zach (to Jesse)”It can really muddy the situation. Speaking from experience, I learned a lot in the Overnight and there was no sex.” –Zach”I’m gonna ask you, though, and this is just us talking, because you do feel the attraction, the pull. You really gonna be able to pull this off? Because you are gonna be tempted.”Oh absolutely. That’s without a doubt. … Yeah, it’s gonna be really damn hard. But I want my partner to be sure in us as well and not to worry that I’m just doing that before an engagement.” –Zach”This is gonna be difficult. There’s a lot of pent-up energy. But I’m up for the challenge.” –Zach”Being physical is a big part of loving someone and getting to know them. So I can’t wait to keep exploring this relationship.” –Ariel”He’s giving us a lot.” –Zach (at bug food vendor)”I regret this.” –Ariel (but they wind up liking it all)”When I kiss Ariel, my body just gets hot. Oh my god, turn on the A/C please.” –Zach”I accidentally told my mom I was falling for you. I wasn’t gonna tell anyone, including you. But I definitely am falling for you. I definitely am falling in love with you. So dumb. Sorry.” –Ariel (being awkward)”I have something, actually, I do want to talk to you about. Over the past week or so I came to a decision that felt right for I guess what I envision to be a happy engagement and a happy marriage — that this week, in particular, sex being off the table. For me, it’s inevitable. Like, I feel a physical connection with you. That’s there, that’s no joke. I think, like, loving one person at the end of this moment, sharing that intimate moment should be saved for that moment of engagement.” –Zach (to Ariel)”For me personally, I don’t like to plan anything in advance. I don’t like to go into any of our dates with such a plan or such an idea. I feel like if you set a standard before, I feel like I’m definitely not gonna sleep with you, like, probably will by saying no.” –Ariel”Can you imagine if you’re like, no sex on the table, and go right to sleep.” –Ariel (to Zach)”You look so beautiful.” –Zach (to Gabi)”I don’t. I look really crusty. You’re really getting, like, every side of me.” –Gabi”Was it time?” –Zach (asking why Gabi was in her head this week)”It’s more like in previous relationships, I was chosen second. So, like, not seeing you for so long and then being the second Fantasy Suite, I was like, oh, I feel very second again. And it’s like an order, it doesn’t even matter, it stressed me out for no reason. I think sometimes when you feel so strongly about someone and you’re so excited, you want to find something that’s not right. So my mind just runs to, like, you’re not good enough, you’re second.” –Gabi (was cheated on in previous relationship)”Today was, like, really fun and then I just feel like it’s kind of been, like, turned upside down because of me.” –Gabi (confessional)”I feel very stupid and foolish and I hate this. I feel disgusting, I feel ugly, I feel all sorts of things. Why can’t I be happy? I don’t even feel like I can go back there.” –Gabi (spiraling to production)”I feel safe telling him that I am falling in love with him. And I know he’ll want the Fantasy Suite. We both have been waiting for this for so long. I don’t anticipate any hiccups tonight.” –Gabi”This is typically the week where, for lack of a better term, s— can hit the fan. Where I think to a lot of people this week is viewed like, okay, it’s sex week, I think in this experience, it can cause more issues and more problems than help. I think what feels right to me is approaching this entire week not having sex with Fantasy Suites. I know it’s not conventional, but I want this to work and, to me, it’s probably the healthiest way to go about it.” –Zach (to Gabi)”I wasn’t expecting him to make that decision. I wouldn’t say it brought me relief, to be honest with you.” –Gabi”Like, obviously sex is important in a relationship. And, you know, you want that side of it as well. Did I think I was gonna get engaged to somebody I’ve never had sex with? Probably not.” –Gabi”I won’t try to seduce you.” –Gabi”At first I was bummed out, but I think it’ll be great. I can’t wait for him to see my skincare routine.” –Gabi”This is a big bed. Lots of room for activities.” –Gabi (not seducing)”Zach says he’s not having sex, but I don’t know. Maybe he will.” –Gabi”My whole perspective on how I thought the week was gonna go changed because something really special happened between us in the Fantasy Suite and now I feel like I’m holding in a secret.” –Zach (it was the sex)”I feel terrible because I’m essentially going against my word. I have fears, like, how Kaity would feel, how would Ariel feel, how would all the women feel, and I just, I feel guilt about the whole week now.” –Zach (to Jesse)”To some of these women, intimacy might be a really important thing before knowing they can say yes if there is a proposal at the end of all this, too.” –Jesse”Aren’t you supposed to be on a date right now?” –Gabi (Zach goes to see her before Kaity’s date)”I just took it, like, it was between us and that’s where it was.” –Gabi (after Zach said he doesn’t want to keep secrets)”To be fully transparent, I went into this week kind of setting a parameter that I wanted to take, or I wanted to not have, like, sex and physical intimacy be involved. And I shared that with the other women going into the week. And, like, a lot has changed and evolved. I would never lie to you and I’ve always asked for honesty from the beginning, and I will always give you that. I have been intimate this week. It was a decision between us that made sense to further a relationship.” –Zach”I knew going into this that is something that could potentially happen. It sucks, obviously, to think about it.” –Kaity”I just don’t want you to, like, ever be guessing, I want you to know.” –Zach”I just figured that was the case, but you just telling me it, like confirming… Honestly, just like, I get that you wanted to tell me and I know you’re saying that because you respect me, but I, honestly, just could have went without hearing that.” –Kaity”It’s just like s—ty to hear it confirmed, to be honest.” –Kaity”He says sorry. Like, why are you sorry? You’re not sorry you did it. Like, what are you sorry for? You’re sorry the way I’m feeling? Well, you know I would feel this way. You know I wouldn’t be, like, ‘Hey, give me a high five, pal!'” –Kaity”It’s weird, Zach. I’m not gonna lie, I just feel very distant from you right now.” –Kaity”I get the gist of this week.” –Kaity”It felt like I needed to tell you this and now I’m kicking myself.” –Zach”How am I supposed to spend the rest of the night with him? All I’m gonna think about is that?” –Kaity”This is something we can get through.” –Kaity (after Zach tells her he cannot lie)”In a way it feels like he’s cleared his conscience at the expense of my heart. I can’t deny the fact that I am feeling blindsided by it, and my trust is broken. I don’t know. I don’t know if I want this Rose right now.” –Gabi”Right now, with how crazy this week has gone, I feel like this could go a lot of wrong ways.” –Zach (to Jesse ahead of Rose Ceremony)”I know you were the only one.” –Kaity (to Gabi)”I feel like I’m wearing like an ‘A’ on my chest. F—ing scarlet letter over here.” –Gabi”Og my god, stop. No.” –Kaity”He’s, like, only making eye contact with Kaity when I feel like I’ve just been put through the wringer.” –Gabi (toasting after Ariel’s exit)

“The Bachelor” concludes next Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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